In our recent toolkit for Managing Communications in Global and Dispersed Organizations, we looked at a flexible governance framework to help communicators make decisions in the moment about escalating situations centrally or handling them locally. Many of the activities that local communicators have to manage are pretty straightforward and low sensitivity. As such, the corporate communications team doesn’t need to get involved with these decisions – things like handling a local media enquiry, creating a local press release, or organizing the regional office’s quarterly volunteering event. In these situations, the best solution is to equip local communicators with tools and support so they can “get on with it” and are not sitting around waiting for help from corporate. This way, corporate also doesn’t need to get bogged down with minor decisions and can focus attention on bigger issues.
How can local communicators become self-sufficient so that corporate only gets involved in those most critical or ambiguous/sensitive situations? Below are four tips for effectively supporting local communicators:
1. Understand local communicator needs
- TIP: be an active listener – ask smart questions to understand what local communicators need and what kind of support they currently lack
- CEC Tools: check out these Quick Tips for How to be a Quality Listener and our other Dialogue Self-Service Tools
2. Provide tools to help local communicators think strategically and create their own communications plans
- TIP: give loose guidelines and flexible templates – not rules – so local communicators don’t feel like corporate is keeping a close watch on their actions
- CEC Tools: share with local communicators this toolkit for Building an Outcome-Focused Communications Plan to help them think through comms planning for any type of activity
3. Build local communicator skills
- TOP TIP: Create a common understanding for what “good” looks like in role and put practices in place for developing local skills.
- CEC Tools: Check out CEC’s Competency Gameboard to learn how to excel in core comms competencies
4. Facilitate peer collaboration so local communicators can learn from each other
- TOP TIP: Consider how easy it is for local communicators to find and connect with each other – do they even know who their counterparts in other countries are?
- CEC Tools: use this channel guide for helping dispersed communicators connect and keep in mind these tips for creating virtual peer networks.
CEC Members, access the full list of Tips for Effective Central Support and a suite of tools to help you tackle each.
Related CEC Resources:
- Managing Communications in Global and Dispersed Organizations
- Tips for Effective Central Support
- Novo Nordisk’s Online Communications Collaboration Space
- CEC’s Competency Gameboard
- Building an Outcome-Focused Communications Plan
Related CEC Blogs:
- 6 Questions for More Effective Central/Local Communications Partnerships
- What Makes Novo Nordisk’s Global Collaboration Effective
- Tool to Prioritize Local Messages
- How to Cascade Sensitive Information
- Want Excellent Global Communications? Give Local Communicators a Say
- Managing a Truly GLOBAL Communications Function